Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Attention All Blood Donors-- Please Help

My friends, Amy and Katie, were seriously injured in that wreck on Hwy 71 last Saturday. Both are still in the hospital with very serious injuries. If you are a blood donor, please consider donating soon at:

Blood Center of Central Tx. is at 4300 N. Lamar. Please make donations in the name of Katie Powers or Amy Wright.

Thank you,

I Heart Vicodin

Hey Y'all,
My latest column at the Austinist just posted. I think you can read it here:

If you like it, please hit Recommend.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Tonight Tonight: I'm Performing

Press Release from Jesse Sublett

FRIDAY, FEB 15, 2008, 7 --9:30 PM, at the SCOOT INN, we are helping celebrate the UT HRC's Beat Writers Exhibit with a fabulous presentation of live music, deejay and spoken word tribute to the Beat writers of the Fifties. It's gonna be really cool:

A mighty coalition – the UT Harry Ransom Center & the Scoot Inn – will be your hosts for a "Beat Love" Valentine Bash.
The badass mojo of this presentation will be provided by Austin hipsters Jesse Sublett & Spike Gillespie & DJ BeBop Kid, incorporating a musical tribute / spoken word opera complete with bongos, upright bass & groovy jazz sounds & samples in a once-in-a-millennium performance piece that weaves together heart-appropriate poems by Beat masters Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Charles Bukowski & others. The Scoot Inn is @ 1308 E. 4th Street. Question is, where are YOU gonna be, daddyo? Be there or be forever an uncool polygon that is so last century, man. Dig it!

This free event is held in conjunction with the Ransom Center's exhibition On the Road with the Beats, which traces the travels of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and their friends across America and the globe. The exhibit, which stars Kerouac's actual, original one-piece "roll" manuscript of the book, runs through August 3.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Hornswoggle, Garreth, Homoeroticism and ME!

The other night, Garreth and I got to sit FRONT ROW CENTER at the WWE wrestling marathon at the Erwin Center. Seriously. I wrote about it for the Austinist this week.

You can read it here.

Pretty please, if you like it, click on Recommend, okay?

And also, please note that that is actually a picture OF Garreth, taken BY his archrival, The OriNator. I entered the photo credit wrong cause I'm a technoidiot.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Some Days I Still Get Pissed Off (And This is One of Them)

First of all, I had a cigarette for breakfast. Not a good start, especially after almost two weeks of not smoking. This is, of course, my fault. For all sorts of reasons. One reason is, every time I quit smoking, I quit using patches way too early in my endeavor to be done with nicotine. I rationalize that patches are expensive and I can beat this on my own.

I am an idiot.

But, then, being an idiot is something that, in some areas, always seemed to come easy to me. My main area of idiocy? Getting married and then getting married again.

I’m pointing this out because, after not the most joyful morning, I got around to checking my email. I get a lot of email. Like, an unbelievable amount of email. This, too, is my fault. I have seventy-five blogs, I know everyone in Austin, I’ve got friends all over the world. And we all have email. Oh, poor me, having so many friends!

Really, though, lately the email has been beyond over the top, often with a hundred coming in and a hundred going out. Every day. Every. Day. That does not include spam. Mostly I whip through it as quickly as I can. Usually email doesn’t rattle me.

But sometimes something shows up that bugs the shit out of me. Like this morning, there was an email from my most recent ex-husband. That’s two in two months from him. Today’s email was part of a bulk email he sent, inviting me to a show he’s performing in to benefit his sister, who became a widow and broke her hip almost simultaneously in December.

I like my ex-sister-in-law just fine. I feel for her. But still, I do not want anymore fucking emails from my ex-husband. Back on June 4th, the very day we got divorced, it was thought that my ex-sister-in-law’s husband was about to die any second. And so, before I went to the courthouse, I made a big pot of matzo ball soup and I gave it to my about-to-be-ex-husband and asked him to give it to his sister. That’s what I do for people when they are hurting—I make food for them.

My ex-husband returned the soup container not long after. I asked him if he’d given the soup to his sister. No. Apparently he and his kids—you know, the ones that broke all my shit—ate the soup themselves instead.

So now, he wants me to come to an event to help her? So, what? He can take my ten dollars and spend it on himself? And, further chapping my ass—he has enlisted my son’s band to play at this benefit, which left my son worried that I’d be mad at him. How sad this makes me, that my kid, who loves helping other people, would feel conflicted about his role in helping someone out just because the adults in his life were such dumbasses.

Am I cranky enough for the six of you?

The last email I got from my ex came the day before my birthday. He was wishing me a wonderful year. And he referenced some recent events in my life, which, as best as I can tell, he heard about through my blog. Granted, this blog is a public thing. But my already raw ass is further chapped. Here’s a guy who, while we were married, banished me from living at his house, allowed his kids to stomp all over me, did not intervene when his previous (dead) wife’s sister had big family parties and insisted I not attend. He did not want to see me, speak to me, or read my emails. One year ago today, courtesy of the unforgivably shitty way he treated me, I was holed up in my bedroom, too sick to get out of bed, a state I remained in for a very long time. And all along, he never apologized for his part in things, never showed remorse, would not help me when I was unable to eat or function.

And now he catches up on my life and emails me about it? And he acts like none of that happened? And what? He expects a response?

He used to tell me that if I wasn’t happy, he wouldn’t be around me, couldn’t be around me. I was not “allowed” to be unhappy in his presence. I was not “allowed” to do all sorts of things. The rules were long, complicated, ridiculous and impossible.

I finally got so fucking pissed off at him and his bullshit that I started going to AA. I did not go to AA because I thought I’d start drinking again. And I did not use AA to quit drinking in the first place, though I had nearly eight years of sobriety under my belt the first time I walked into an AA meeting. The reason I went is because finally, I knew with full clarity the meaning of “powerlessness.” I felt totally powerless over my anger at him and his cruelty and spinelessness and narcissism. I just wanted to spit in his face.

But I knew that was wrong. And I knew that, really, I didn’t want to be angry. And that the anger was making me more sick. But goddammit I was so angry.

So I did AA for awhile, and I kept a piece of paper on the wall that said Number of Days I Have Not Talked to The Narcissist. Each day I got through without contacting him, I got to reward myself with a hash mark. I’d amass these and feel better with each passing day. Then I’d succumb (as with the cigarettes) and call him and feel like shit and have to start all over again.

Until finally, no need to think about it, write it down, attend meetings: I just stopped giving a shit about this man who had broken every promise he ever made.

And then he has to contact me.

That first note that came in, wishing me a happy birthday, stirred the embers. But I refused to take the bait. I allowed myself to feel indignant—how dare he casually pop in like that, no apology offered, and think he could just send a cheerful note. I deleted it.

Today’s email just pissed me off. I took the bait. I responded, tersely, telling him that he needs to stop contacting me. The best I can do for this man is the best I can do for the man who abused me throughout my childhood and continued that abuse, long distance, for years after I left, until, in my thirties, I just cut him off. And the best I can do is this: not hate him but not hate him from a distance.

If I never see my father or my ex-husband again, that will be entirely too soon.

I got another email last week that pissed me off. This one from a different man. Last May, to escape my pending wedding anniversary, which came about a week before my divorce, I went to Galveston. For reasons I won’t go into, except to chalk it up to the idiot factor, while I was there, I made contact with a man in Austin (yes, through an online dating site) whom I went out with one night upon my return.

Before I go another sentence into that story, I have to say that just thinking of the Galveston trip reminds me of this: my ex-husband, who wasn’t even my ex-husband then, would monitor my actions via my blog, though he would not see me or speak to me in person. When he read that I had been dating another loser—Strike Anywhere—he informed me (during a rare moment of communication) that that is when he took off his wedding band. As if I would know this, as if I ever saw him to see if his wedding band was off or on. And yet, when he read in that same blog that I’d been in a car accident on the way back from Galveston, driving 80 mph, and that I very easily could have lost my life, he didn’t even drop a line to see if I was okay. Like he only cared if I was fucking someone else, not if I had a near-miss with death.

Back to the other story. So I get back from Galveston, and I go out with this guy. And we have a good time. No physical contact. No promises. Just an evening of music and conversation. We meet again a couple of days later and he starts telling me about how we’re going to spend our future. And I, still not yet divorced, freak out. And I tell the guy that I can’t see him anymore. And he says he understands.

But he doesn’t. First he sends long emails. Then I tell him, no, really, you need to stop. Then he sends short emails. I ignore him. I’ve laid out my boundaries. I was clear, kind, and not at all ambiguous.

And still, he persists, emailing me last week, fully eight months after the fact, still wanting to hook up.

I learned, from research I did while being stalked by my first ex-husband, that if you respond to someone, even if you wait til the one hundredth time they try to get through to you, then the message you give is, It takes one hundred times to get to me.

Even as I write these words, imagining my ex-husband and this guy-who-won’t leave me alone reading them, I think, damned if I do, damned if I don’t. Because I can express myself, my anger, and in doing so be true to myself and my lifetime need to express myself. But then I can worry that these guys are reading, interpreting, beating off to the fact that I’m mentioning them at all.

And so I am pissed off again.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Another Sad Anniversary. Or Maybe Not.

Today marks One Year since my most recent ex-husband walked out on me. Or released me. Or whatever the hell he did. Yes, Mr. Comic Timing, despite my grief over my friend's death, decided it would be best to leave me a day after that death. Not that there's ever necessarily a "good" time to walk out (as far as comfort goes). But man...

Last week, I was going through some old journal entries from back then. I used to get up every morning, begin another day of not eating but chain smoking, sit in the backyard and bawl my eyes out. And then, throughout the day, I'd sit and write him long, long letters, most of which I never sent, in which I see now I just was begging to be re-invited into the world and chaos of pain.

So yeah, he did me a favor by being selfish and putting his own need to drink and watch Law & Order and his kids need to try to destroy me above my request that we take the marriage seriously and work things out. But I'm not sending him a thank you card.

I am thankful that I got through a whole year now, which, while it was happening felt like the slowest, most quicksandy, fucked up year of my life. And now that it's gone it looks like an unbelievable blur in hindsight, twelve months packed with so much (travel alone took me to two countries and all over the US), and much of the so much done in the interest of staying busy so all the grief didn't hit me at once.

Earlier this week I turned in the manuscript for an anthology of grief essays I'm co-editing. Excellent timing.

For everyone who did so much to help get me through, this is my big public thank you.

Woo-hoo. Done. What a fucking year.